Caps will control insurance

The Madison County Record Jan. 16, 2005, 10:15am

In reference to a letter to the editor "Caps Won't Lower Premiums" (January 9, 2005), The Medical Protective Company wants to make it clear that we believe caps on non-economic damages will help control medical malpractice insurance over time.

We strongly support caps as an important element of medical malpractice reform. Recent claims about Medical Protective's position on caps that were repeated in this article ignore both the context of our statements and the actions we have taken.

In 2003, the Texas state legislature enacted caps on non-economic damages, a measure approved by a statewide vote later that year. In late 2003, the Texas Department of Insurance ordered Medical Protective to file new rates for 2004 reflecting assumed immediate savings from the legislation that had just taken effect.

The actuarial study submitted with that filing demonstrated a needed rate increase in excess of 25%. However, in that same filing, the company proposed instead a 19% increase, reflecting optimism that
these measures could mitigate losses.

A fair examination of this 2003 filing and the actions we have taken clearly demonstrate that we have consistently expressed confidence that medical liability reform measures, including caps on non-economic damages, will, over time, produce positive results for physicians in the state of Texas.

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with doctors, fighting for medical malpractice reforms because we believe such measures will help stem the costs associated with medical professional liability.

Trent Heinemeyer
Lead attorney
The Medical Protective Company
Ft. Wayne, Ind.

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